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Bowl of toasted Israeli couscous salad with minced fresh vegetables, herbs, and zesty lemon/basil vinaigrette.



This Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad is a beautiful symphony of textures and flavors with minced vegetables, herbs, and a zesty lemon/basil vinaigrette.  It is a lovely lunch or a healthy side dish.



For the dressing:

  • 1 large lemon, the juice and the zest
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups pearl couscous
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped scallions, both white and green part
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil, more for garnish
  • ½ medium English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped Roma tomatoes


Make the vinaigrette.  In a mason jar, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, basil, dill, garlic, parmesan cheese, and black pepper.  Shake vigorously or use an immersion blender to mix well.  Taste and adjust for salt.

Make the salad.  Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil.  Keep at a low boil.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil.  When hot, pour in the couscous and saute, moving constantly, until golden brown.

Carefully pour in the boiling chicken stock and cook until the couscous is tender.

Drain the couscous in a colander and add to a large bowl to cool.

To the couscous, add the scallions, chopped basil, cucumber, and Roma tomatoes.

Shake the jar of dressing to incorporate all of the ingredients and pour over the couscous and vegetables.  Toss well to combine.

Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Toss again and garnish with a sprig of basil.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Boil and toss
  • Cuisine: Israeli

Keywords: toasted Israeli couscous salad, side dish recipes, salad recipes, lunch recipes, lemon-basil dressing